This is an unprecedented time in PK-12 public education in the United States. However, you need to continue to expose your children to educational material. They need a continuity of learning to maintain some sense of normalcy. If you have an established a homework routine, continue to use that time for learning activities. There are numerous learning activities that can be completed online. Some companies are offering free internet access to students during this time. Also, many educational sites are offering free access on a temporary basis. Take advantage of these offerings! It is important to keep your children’s minds active and engaged.
Not only do students need to continue to learn, they also need to have their social and emotional needs met during these times of uncertainty. Follow a daily schedule to create a routine. Reassure your children that we will get through this together. Fill the time with family activities such as playing cards, completing a puzzle or physical activity. Resist the urge to allow your children unlimited time spent playing video games and watching TV! In fact, it would be wise to encourage them to spend some time reading.
Finally, these circumstances allow parents to teach their students about philanthropy and empathy. Think about ways your children can commit acts of kindness. Reach out to friends and family members via Facebook Messenger or Skype. Check on an elderly neighbor. Make a donation to a local food pantry or homeless shelter. Monetary donations can often be made online and do not require you to leave your home. At the end of the day, I urge you to follow the order to stay home.